First Advisor

H. F. Peters

Term of Graduation

Fall 1972

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in German






Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) Räuber, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) Kabale und Liebe, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) Don Carlos, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) -- Characters



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 72 pages)


Schiller's career as a dramatist spans more than two decades. Without too much difficulty, one observes that his plays are intimately related with one another. Particularly in the Storm and Stress period, his motives appear to be much the same: Schiller is an advocate of freedom, and the rights of men.

I maintain that the youthful rebel is a recurrent theme in Schiller's dramatic works and this can be shown by an analysis of four characters from three plays, followed by a summary of their similarities.

The rebellious youths of Schiller are Karl Moor (Die Räuber), Ferdinand (Kabale und Liebe), and Don Carlos and Marquis Posa (Don Carlos). These men seek freedom, and hope to have their dreams realized. They want to experience the world, but only on their own terms, as free and unoppressed individuals. It is shown that they are all egoists, ultimately concerned with the fulfillment of their own needs. At the same time they are moral young men, objecting to the immorality they encounter. However, their methods of rebellion are naive. This leads to their eventual downfall. Only when it is too late do they realize their inherent failing, when they finally bring the world back into focus.

This thesis explores Schiller's Storm and Stress rebel, a dramatic figure which seems to lack the ruthlessness of a truly rebellious character: Schiller's "rebels" challenge authority on all social levels, yet, they finally submit to this authority. This is not at all characteristic of the actions of a rebel. It is significant that Schiller alters the direction and force of these young heroes. As Karl Moor turns himself over to the law, the question of motive arises: why does a rebel give himself up? My thesis will outline the reasons for this inconsistency. At the heart of the problem is of course the author. Schiller has decided to reconstruct the "rebel." Why he initiates this alteration is an essential part of the study.


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